Hogan Lovells, White & Case act on China’s Venezuela investment

Hogan Lovells and White & Case have bagged roles on one of the biggest financing projects undertaken by the China Development Bank (CDB) in Latin America.

Hogan Lovells advised Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and Bandes (Venezuela Social and Economic Development Bank) on two loan facilities with a combined value of $20bn (£12bn) from CDB.

The Hogan Lovells team was led by Caracas-based partner Bruno Ciuffetelli, along with partners Keith Larson in Washington DC, Jose Valdivia in Miami, Luis Bottaro in Caracas, Ken Hawkes in Singapore, and Jun Wei in Beijing.

The head of White & Case’s China practice Xiamong Li led the team advising CDB, while the deal also saw close involvement from PDVSA in-house counsel Armando Giraud, and Bandes in-house lawyer Pablo Bujanda.

The financing required negotiations involving three systems of law, and also included  oil sales contracts from PDVSA to China National United Oil (SINOIL).  The first $10bn facility was governed by English law, the second Rmb 70bn (£6.5bn) facility was governed by Chinese law, while the oil contract between PDSVA and SINOIL was governed by Venezuelan law. 

The loan facilities will be used to finance infrastructure and social projects in Venezuela. 

Ciuffetelli said: “This deal represents to us a step further in the interaction between our Asian and Latin American practices. Hogan Lovells’ finance practice is well placed to advise our clients on transactions of this calibre and complexity. 

“By leveraging our global network we were able to effectively undertake concurrent negotiations under different legal systems, across different time zones, to deliver innovative and mutually beneficial terms for all parties concerned.”